I love it when Spurs do this to me. I don't care that much about all the insight and tactical discussions and individualistic question marks. Well I do, and I'll have to write about some of them in the moment but what is far more satisfying, in the context of suffering with anxiety for the best part of ninety minutes, is to see us steal the game in its entirety with majestic thieving.
Yes, we were defensively lapse leaving masses of space for Swansea and in particular Wilfried Bony. Sure we got pushed back and survived the hosts sweeping play as they kept poking us in the face, asking questions, whilst we blagged the answers. Was Roberto Soldado anonymous? Yes. I think. He was playing? Was Erik Lamela willing the referee to have the opposing side be the ones benefiting of a red card for once? The Argentine shouldn't be criticised too much. He did of course cost the club only £1M. The remaining £29M is based around add-ons. AMIRITE?
It actually all started mightily fine. The relentless Harry Kane defining gravity (whilst the defender remained grounded due to floodlight blindness) to head the ball in for the early 1-0. A goal from a corner as rare as a second hand Opus on eBay. At this juncture of the game I had no anxiety. It began to creep into my conciousness when Swansea livened up. We looked comfortable on the ball but the discomfort at the back grew when Bony and co attacked.
Jan Vertonghen and Federico Fazio not quite on the same page. Not even the same library let alone book. Swansea carved out chance after chance. Tighten up I thought. Let's keep on playing like this, said the body language of our maverick defenders.
There was a Harry Kane dive, although he might have been clipped. I can't imagine him being the type considering he had a right go at Lamela over the whole 'waving a card' incident at Villa Park. Bony had a deflected effort, which followed a last ditch tackle from Ben Davies earlier in the game and a smart Hugo Lloris save with feet (that was offside, but still great reflexes). Danger signs all pointing towards the Spurs box.
Cue second half. Cue an early Swansea equaliser and cue masses of anxiety and nervous viewing. Still, my Twitter time-line sabbatical continued so I had no outside interference or toxic knee-jerk reactions to worry about. My projected misery would be completely my own doing. My daughter, sat next to me colouring in, had not a clue that her dad was pulling imaginary hair out of his head whilst she scribbled unicorns. Unicorns, a composed Spurs win...both fantastical concepts.
That Bony goal was thanks to more soft defending (surprise) and what followed was the expected home team pressing into our half whilst we just about did enough to avoid a second conceded goal and they did just about enough to miss the target. Sounds a bit familiar that. Good footballing side can't score goals. I remember those days fondly.
Mousa Dembele came on for Soldado. He had one particular mazy run that resulted with Kane attempting to bend his shot in. For all that Swansea pressure, we started to show signs of live (and hope) with more of the ball at our feet and we got into half decent positions thanks to some neat movement. Anxiety subsiding? Sort of. Swansea had more chances. Then Benji Stambouli replaced Ryan Mason and not long after Kane was at it again.
Another corner, another header. This time so unlucky not to guide it into the net with an acute glanced attempt. Kane driving Spurs forward like Gosling - focused and down right sexy. Yeah, you heard that right. Kane has gone from this supposedly one dimensional plod it forward front-man to a player that is proactive with his endeavour rather than simply reactive to what his team-mates do. He's our leading man. Probably best he doesn't talk too often, as Gosling proves...actions speak louder than words.
Nacer Chadli came on for Lamela and the clock ticked towards Tottenham time.
Eriksen had an effort, almost a tease to the future, saved towards the left hand corner of the goal. Swansea, having spent most of the game taking advantage of our giving nature made an error born out of the naivety to keep playing football, even when defending out of their box. They gave the ball away, to all people, Ben Davies. He assisted Eriksen who this time found his precision to be perfect.
When he scored I screamed like a lunatic, punching the air with aggression and a massive F-YOU to the world. I apologised to my four year old and my daughter turned to me and said 'Will you not do that again daddy. I thought it was a monster'. Fair comment. Still, best she understands early on that supporting Spurs is scary.
I almost screamed again when Kane mugged Jonjo Shelvey, one on one, but not finding his way past Gerhard Tremmel. I was far more dignified at the final whistle, all smiles, and gave my tormented kid a hug. 'You smell daddy'. 'Yes, yes I do. I smell of glorious victory'.
It was of course majestic. The best wins are when you least expect them, although maybe we need to start expecting them more often (at least on our travels). In amongst the hard graft and that match-winning quality from our Dane we also witnessed the (what will be) gradual return of Kyle Walker. He had shaky start but did well in containing Jefferson Montero. Davies was excellent. Crazy how he appeared to be practically forgotten about after signing for us and is now bedding in nicely. Consistent selection - who would have thought that helps?
I've backed and supported both Lamela and Soldado. Although I've often suggested the striker won't regain his mojo at Spurs. Erik is someone that should have found his feet in England rather than his elbow to faces of players. The £30M tag is going to haunt Franco and Daniel more than anyone because (be it if £5M - £10M are add-ons or not) he isn't fronting like a thirty million pound star. But...*but* if we care to pretend we're a patient lot and ignore the tag and just wait (this season at the very least) we'll probably find ourselves watching someone with far more conviction and dependable application to match his undoubted (raw) talent.
As for the late show and the three points, we're still not making any of this easy on ourselves but we're finding the points and that match-winning tenacity away from the Lane. If we found a little bit of it back in N17 then this transitional period would be so much more fun than the constant dark brooding cloud that loves to rain down on us every other week.
If you ignore everything other than the points on the table then mathematically speaking things can't be as bad as they are. Thing is, they're not. But relying on the other clubs and their own struggles and not improving on our inconsistency might push us back down again if the competition improve. It isn't a race to the top four, it's a race for momentum. If you get that, then everything else becomes a possibility by default.
Onwards. We've got two months without Europa League football. Let's make it count.